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Meatballs is an ultimate summer camp comedy. Tripper works hard to make the summer memorable for the campers and the staff. He does it because he cares and wants everyone to have a fun summer. Join Cory and John as they head off to camp for the summer. They won’t come back the same and neither will we!
Meatballs is the first staring comedic roll for Bill Murray and the first of six movies he made with Harold Ramis. Murray shines as Tripper in this movie. He looks out for his campers and staff on an off screen and it really shows in the movie. Tripper is the head counselor at camp and in charge of the CIT’s. Morty (Harvey Atkin), everyone calls him Micky, is the director and Tripper and the CIT’s tend to make Morty’s mornings interesting. They put his bed in interesting spots each night. Roxanne (Kate Lynch) is in charge of the female CIT’s and is Tripper’s love interest.
Tripper starts the summer out impersonating the rival camp’s director. Camp Mohawk is for the rich kids and has everything North Star doesn’t. Mohawk may have money but, North Star has heart. Tripper embodies it. Day one of camp he befriends camper Rudy (Chris Makepece). Over the course of the summer, he brings Rudy out of his shell and includes him in the camp activities. He begins running with him every morning. In return Rudy encourages Tripper to pursue Roxanne.
We have a wild group of CIT’s who help the kids out but are also dating each other. We have the camp sweetheart couple Wheels (Todd Hoffman) and A.L. (Kristine DeBell) who get back together after a breakup that happened last summer. Crockett (Russ Banham) & Candace (Sarah Torgov) boat off together. Spaz (Jack Blum) is just that and Tripper is looking out for him talking him up to Wendy (Cindy Girling) the hottest CIT. Spaz ends up with a perfect match in Jackie (Margot Pinvidic). Larry Fink (Keith Knight) is the portly friend of Spaz, who encourages Spaz and lives vicariously through him. Hardware (Matt Craven) steals Morty’s AC unit and tends to make things happen around camp. They have a blast on their overnight canoe trip.
The summer rivalry between the two camps come to a head at the end of the year Olympiad. Almost every camper participates. Day one is a a huge beat down for North Star. Between having better athletes and cheating, Mohawk’s lead is big. That night in the lodge, Tripper stops Morty from giving the typical half-time speech. Tripper stirs the campers and CIT’s up saying “It just doesn’t matter,” and getting everyone pumped up that way. Day two sees North Star playing a little dirty but also pulling out victories in swimming relay, softball, wrestling, the stacking race, and an eating contest. North Star has a chance but, it all comes down to the 4 mile marathon. In day one, Mohawk broke Jackie’s leg and she was North Star’s best runner. Tripper steps up and pushes Rudy to be their runner. After much promoting and pressure Morty allows it. Tripper tells Rudy to get out ahead in the woods where he has the advantage. After a summer of training and with Tripper’s encouragement Rudy wins the race guarantees North Star’s victory. He also become the hero of his cabin and the camp. He looks forward to coming back next summer.
The CIT’s have one last campfire and celebrate. The summer has come to a close and the campers and staff are reluctant to leave. The CIT’s will all be back next summer. Tripper, thanks to Rudy’s encouragement, steps up and asks Roxanne to move in with him. As the buses roll out, we cut to the lake. The CIT’s have put Morty, his bed, and his night stand on a raft in the middle of the lake. Morty is soaked and yelling for help but, no one is around to get him back to shore.
Many movies about summer camp followed Meatballs. It paved the way for the genera in many ways. But the balance of comedy, caring, fun, and heart is hard to match. I feel that is because of Bill Murray and Harold Ramis working together. When you have a partnership like this one gel, great things happen. It’s also a classic because so many people grew up with summer camp experiences like this. We can look at the characters and identify with one or more of them. Sadly this type of camp has fallen by the wayside with speciality camps and busy schedules, but this movie brings in the nostalgia factor. So while we have to leave Camp North Star it won’t leave us. But we are on to Camp Hope next week for “Heavy Weights.” So hop on the bus and join us!
Add It To Your Library:
The movie soundtrack was done by several artists. The theme is “Are You Ready For The Summer” by the Camp North Star Kids Chorus.
Name That Movie:
The clue this week was: Starting at “Meatballs” Bill Murray. Bill also appeared in this TV to movie adaptation directed by McG.
Which lead us to the following movie: The movie is “Charlie’s Angles”
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